What Would You Do?

She turned around, first this way and then that. She smiled, she frowned and most of all, she waited. She waited for me to say something. She was seeking an answer.

Unfortunately for all involved it was not a yes or no type of answer, it was not so cut and dried or black and white. You see, she is a dear friend who asked for an honest opinion. An honest opinion about a dress she was already in love with. A dress that did not look well on her at all. A dress she was so in love with that she bought it. Now what to say?

I could be honest and tell her it looked awful. I could tell her that the color did not suit her, that the style did not suit her body. I could tell her that the dress did not do her justice.

I could save her feelings, knowing she thought it was so wonderful that she couldn’t really see the dress on her. Mi could simply agree with her. I could become philosophical and tell her something along the lines of beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

Either way it would be done out of friendship, but of course there would be consequences. What would you do, knowing she asked for an honest opinion? Knowing she loved the dress and already bought it because she thought it looked great on her?

Perhaps, if you tell me what you’d do, I will share what I did! 😉

Beaten by Beets

I don’t know about you, but it seems to me those people who come up with these “simple, but delicious” recipes are kissing something.

I bought some beets, okay a fair amount of fresh beets. Normally I just boil them and peel them and call it done. Well,sometimes a dressing of some sort might be applied to the beets and maybe some dill, onion, shallots, spring onions or such might be added. But let’s face it, it really ain’t getting much beyond that.

Wanting to do something different, but not challenging I went onto Internet to see what I could find. I came across roasted beets. Simple right, you just toss them in the oven and life is good.

I decided to try two different methods of roasting, one required a layer of salt to be placed on a baking sheet and he beets placed on top of that and roast away. The other method was simpler still, simply toss the beets in aluminum foil and roast away. Easy peasy surely.

I followed the directions as though my very life depended on it. While both products were edible, it seems to me that there are steps missing or perhaps shortcuts used in these recipes.

Sure I’ve turned a turkey into a charcoal-type artifact, but that was a number of years ago. And it was really only once so I’m not that dreadful of a cook. And yet the beets didn’t turn out exactly as described on the websites.

Is it just me or do ores have these moments too?

Historical Beauty

I felt the first blow as though it happened to my own body. I couldn’t understand why. I guess that some things can never be answered to our satisfaction. Not when we are emotionally attached. Emotional attachments of any sort leads a person to not worry about logic or rational.

As the second and third blows came I had to leave, I simply could not bear to watch it. It wasn’t just the loss of the beauty, it was the loss of the history.

I could understand it if the old building was in bad shape, condemned etc. But then it has good structure and is still usable why get rid of that architecture?

It drives me batty when a decision is made to remove an historic building because it doesn’t “suit the skyline” or isn’t part of the “design for the neighborhood”. Some of this old architecture is a thing of beauty.

When we remove pieces of history that can be used as touch points for our past, the history becomes less real. history isn’t just read out of dusty books, it can be experienced by other senses if allow it to remain standing. Sure it might not be sleek or all glass, and granted it may not permit for the same number of people, but there is still value in it.

So I left the area when the wrecking ball was swung to take down the old building to make way for a modern high-rise. I left wondering if those people who made the decision to do this considered the history and the beauty before removing it. I also wondered what they thought of older people, people who maybe aren’t all shiny and new. People with a few cracks and chinks in their armor. Perhaps some of their facade is crumbling and maybe you can’t see their beauty the same as you can with someone younger, but does that mean we remove them?

Taking Yourself Away

A few years back I spent a month on vacation. It was a blissful month, one that allowed me to refresh and recharge myself. (I know that makes me sound less like a human and more like a battery or piece of equipment. When did we get to this point?)

I was telling a friend about the idea of taking a month off and putting ones self first. It’s a wonderful thing if you can afford it. My friend asked me how I could spend a whole month sitting on my beach.

I must confess my response was something akin to “What? Who does that?” And that’s when it hit me, many people will think a vacation to be a relaxing enterprise, doing only a few things and then resting again.

My month-long vacation was not relaxing, not in the sense of resting on a beach. There was a lot of biking and walking, some hiking and some heavy lifting (shopping for books etc.).

The point is we all rest and recharge, find our peace if you will, by doing different things. But what we all need to do is remember to honor ourselves, not in the bragging sense or throwing our egos out. When we do not honor ourselves we may be sending messages to others that it is okay for them to not honor our needs for taking of ourselves. Let’s face it, we aren’t crabs so we aren’t going to re-grow body parts. They may be able to transplant organs, but that isn’t a guarantee. The best investment you will ever make is the investment in yourself and your well being.

Home Sweet Humility

My father always said “measure twice and cut once”. I remember him saying this frequently as a child. I wasn’t sure why he was so set on measuring things before cutting them because let’s face it, cutting is just far more fun.

Sure there have been times when I have gotten carried away with my zeal for cutting and ended up with things a bit too short, but I call that creative license. Well okay it isn’t really, it it’s a way to justify things in a means that fits.

Not that I would ever tell my father that he was right because that’s not how it goes. A child isn’t supposed to admit to being wrong, I’m pretty sure that is in the rule book for children.

And since we are all friends here, I feel safe when I say sometimes if I measure something twice, or even thrice, I keep getting different numbers. I know, it’s a strange thing, but I chalk it up as being a fringe part of the whole Bermuda Triangle, granted a far-reaching fringe, but part of it nonetheless.

Okay okay so maybe not really anything with the Bermuda Triangle, it then clearly it must be a case of defective equipment. You know a tape measure that changes numbers or such. I mean what else could it be?

Yes fine, okay is admit it’s all on me. I haven’t the skills for that stuff, nor the patience. It wouldn’t be so bad if I had someone who had this “handyman” type skills in my life. But I don’t.

Well okay if you count using glue, or masking tape then I guess I do have that covered.

There is nothing like a home renovation to make humble you. Or perhaps that should be, there is nothing like a home renovation to bring humility into my life. It’s just that I could do without a lesson in humility every day. Oh I’m not saying I don’t need it, but well, I’m not a fan of it. I can’t get used to the taste of humble pie, but again perhaps the is the lesson.

Simply Too Hard For Some

I fought it, I ignored it. I tried to pretend it wasn’t happening, but of course there comes a point when you can no longer live in denile. You have to admit that you have the flu or the cold.

No there is no way around it, and there is nothing to do but suffer through it. Oh I get that most of us will get one a few times a year, but when people who are sick refuse to do simple things to keep it from others, well that ticks me off.

What is it about the Western world that says no matter how sick or contagious we are, we should still go into the office, we should share this with others?

Yes I was taught to share as a child, but I was also taught to cover my mouth when I coughed or sneezed and to always wash my hands. Sadly I do not work with people who always follow what I take as common sense.

Maybe these people feel it isn’t enough for just them to suffer, that if they are miserable and sick so should everyone else.

I beg of you, any of you who are sick, please restrain from sharing. Some of us are on medications or have conditions that make the common cold or flu far more serious. Your common cold will create all kinds of havoc and mean I miss out on much-needed chemo therapy.

Sure I know the flip to this is that someone like me should live in a bubble or something, but that doesn’t pay the bills, and the government says I should be working.

So common sense says if you are I’ll stay home and get better not just for your health, but also because let’s face it when you are sick your productivity drops.

I will never understand why something so simple as if you are sick, stay home is so hard for people and companies to understand.

Math Homework

Every so many years the Western world redoes its school curriculum. Often times you will hear about this via parents complaining about how things are being taught.

As an educator, I’m all for innovative ways that allow people to learn, but even I am stumped by something with these changes. No one has ever been able to explain this to me either.

I’m talking about the “new math”. Here’s what puzzles me. People who are into math will say things like “it’s black and white” or “the logic is flawless” or even “the numbers don’t lie”.

Okay I can buy all that, I really can. I’m not a huge fan of the numbers as I prefer words and such, but I get that E numbers are static 2+2 is always going to equal 4 following mathematical logic.

So why do we have new math? New ways of teaching it? Why? What has changed? Can someone please explain this to me as well as what makes us think there is such a thing as creative math that still works under the laws of the numbers? Oh and why do we think we need to keep making the math work harder even though the age of the student for a given grade really doesn’t change? Have we forgotten how the young mind works?

Okay part do this is my fear that we are making too many programmers and engineers and forgetting about the study of the humanities and art. There is a place for everything, but it seems we are moving away from that to a more math filled world and this makes me sad (yes even as I adore my electronic gadgets). We need poems to speak the words we can not utter ourselves. Stories to give us adventuress that otherwise would never happen. We need music to voice for the dance. Yes I know music is based on math, but why must we break art down to numbers and lose sight of art?